Halifax 2-2 Gateshead: The second-half reaction was pleasing, says Fullarton

Jamie Fullarton. Picture: John Bradley
Jamie Fullarton. Picture: John Bradley

Town boss Jamie Fullarton said he got the reaction he wanted in the second-half of FC Halifax Town’s 2-2 draw with Gateshead at The Shay on Thursday night.

Halifax were 1-0 down at half-time to former Town striker Jordan Burrow’s opener, but rallied with an improved performance after the interval, levelling through Mike Fondop-Talom’s third goal in three games.

Burrow looked to have scored a late winner, only for substitute Matty Kosylo to salvage a draw with a stunning free-kick with moments to go on his return from a knee injury.

“I think on the second-half performances and on clear-cut chances, the game should have been dead buried for us,” said Fullarton, with Connor Thomson and Ben Tomlinson guilty of spurning great chances for the home side.

“On the standards we’ve set, the first-half was disappointing. We had a discussion at half-time along those lines, and I asked for a reaction.

“I think individually and collectively, the intensity and tempo and reaction we got in the second-half was pleasing.

“When you get yourself back in the game and you’re pressing and creating the chances we did, and then to lose a goal in injury time, the reaction you’d expect is to have the stuffing knocked out of you.

“But to then go up the pitch and get a goal to take a point is a great reflection of the players as characters.”

Asked why his side were below-par in the first-half, Fullarton said: “That’s the million dollar question.

“We weren’t at it to the standards we’ve set. I suppose it’s a question I can’t answer because our preparation and approach doesn’t vary.

“But the response to what we said at half-time was pleasing, along with the performance in the second-half.

“It’s a reflection of character, mentality and the culture that’s about the place where they’re responding fantastically.

“They’re showing a great response, a positive response and hence why they got their just desserts.

“Was it a fair result? We didn’t deserve to lose the game.

“It was disappointing to lose the two goals we did because from a defensive point of view I didn’t think we were ever under any real pressure or anxiety.”

Fullarton said he was “very disappointed” with the manner of both Gateshead’s goals defensively.

“Ultimately goals are scored either through intricate play or a magnificent strike, or errors, and it’s not the mistakes you make, it’s how you react to it.

“It was enjoyable in the second-half. I think it’s what the fans have become accustomed to since I’ve been here.

“To have that goal go in injury time, there was a ripple of disappointment because of the second-half performance, but the boys deserve great credit for getting that point.”

Asked if he thought the game was lost when Gateshead regained the lead, Fullarton said: “No, because we still had some of the game to play. Games last 95 minutes and there were still three-and-a-half to go.

“In the manner we got it, with Kosylo coming back in and being the bright spark he is, was great for him, and great for the group.

“There’s almost an expectation in the group that whatever’s thrown at us, they’ve found a solution, and that’s pleasing.”

Town are now 12th in the table ahead of their long-trip to Torquay, and are 10 points above the relegation zone.